Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department

Educational Measurement and Research

Major Professor

Jose Castillo, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Jennifer Wolgemuth, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William Black, Ph.D.

Committee Member

John Ferron, Ph.D.


Collaborative Evaluation, District Leadership, Evaluation Use, Improvement, Organizational Change, School Turnaround


This instrumental case study (Stake, 1995) provides an in-depth examination of a collaborative approach to evaluation within a school district’s central office. This study analyzes the implementation of collaborative approaches to evaluation (CAE) within a school district’s central office with an emphasis on evaluation use from the evaluators’ perspectives. It also explores the role and evolution of the evaluators throughout the evaluation process. Furthermore, this study adds to educational research on how to support the implementation and use of improvement processes in school district central offices. The analysis focuses on the evaluation activities that my colleagues and I led as internal evaluators for a school district’s school improvement initiative from September 2015 to October 2016. The conceptual framework that I used to guide my case study are the Principles to Guide CAE (Shulha, Whitmore, Cousins, Gilbert, & al Hudib, 2016), which were recently developed in response to the need for clarification on collaborative approaches to evaluation. Findings suggest that: (1) the organizational context and the evaluators’ skills in using CAE impacted evaluation use, including enhancing the capacity for evaluative thinking for involved stakeholders; (2) the quality of the evaluation process, especially the formation of the findings and recommendations, enhanced the credibility of the evaluation and stakeholders’ willingness to implement the recommendations; and (3) evaluator involvement over the long-term is needed to support all aspects of the continuous improvement cycle. Findings regarding the evaluator’s role within CAE include the need for evaluators: (4) to fully understanding their role and positioning themselves as critical friends and facilitators; and (5) to create a safe space for learning and inquiry to occur. The findings from this study have implications for evaluation researchers interested in evaluation use and the implementation of CAE, as well as for educational researchers focused on incorporating evidence-based practices and improvement processes in school district central offices.